5. Pascal Wehrlein losing out to Marcus Ericsson
Formula 1 is, unfortunately, a world where more often than not, money triumphs talent.
The list is long and another name added to that list is Pascal Wehrlein. The Mercedes junior driver and the youngest DTM champion till date proved his worth twice in a row. Scoring with backmarker Manor in his rookie year and then shading Ericsson in qualifying and races this year.
The German scored all of the 5 points for Sauber this year. The short on cash Sauber team decided to forge a greater alliance with their engine supplier Ferrari. This sealed Wehrlein’s fate as no better seat up the grid was open. The alliance has resulted in Sauber effectively becoming the Junior Ferrari team. It also sees the return of Alfa Romeo brand name to F1.
While Charles Leclerc was guaranteed to occupy the seat for 2018, there was a tussle for the other seat. A ray of hope did appear for Wehrlein whose point scoring run for Sauber meant he one of the contenders for the seat.
So merit dictated Pascal to be chosen. Sauber’s backers and Ericcson’s financers pushed for the Swede to be retained. Ferrari, on the other hand, wanted Giovinazzi to occupy the other seat.
In the end, money won and Ericsson was chosen along with Leclerc for 2018.